Seedlip’s Ben Branson on how to set up your own business
A BIT ABOUT ME
I’m Ben Branson, founder of Seedlip drinks, the world’s first non-alcoholic spirit. We’ve achieved a lot in just 150 weeks, so I’m going to share my tips for launching a new brand.
Ensure you have passion. Seedlip didn’t begin as a business idea. In 2013, I was looking into herbs to grow at home and came across a book written in 1651 called The Art of Distillation. It documented nonalcoholic herbal remedies so, out of curiosity, I bought a copper still and experimented. Three months later at a bar, I was offered a disgusting, fruity, sweet mocktail and the seed was planted…
BLOOD, SWEAT AND CHEERS
In order to turn your idea into a company, you need a mixture of mistakes, guesswork, hunches, effort, questions, coffee, guidance and perseverance. I had no clue what I was doing, how to do it or what would happen. I was a one-man band working from my kitchen. Now, we are a team of 55 people with offices in London and LA. The demand has been overwhelming, the timing ideal and the hard work absolutely worth it.
THINK IT THROUGH
The odds are heavily stacked against anyone with a food and drink business. It’s competitive, takes time and nine out of 10 will fail. It took dogged obsession and delusion just to launch. Either find a great idea yourself and sacrifice everything to not let it down, or join someone else’s crusade and see what it’s like.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT TRACK
Some people quit everything to launch a business, and that can be a mistake. I had my own design company for a year while working on Seedlip and tried to run them in tandem. The time will come when you have one foot on each train, the tracks split and then you have a decision to make.